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  • Photo du rédacteurEric Sevigny

Rocky Balboa, way more than a movie character

Dernière mise à jour : 13 déc. 2023

There are these films that mark the imagination. There are classics that are so successful that, in collective memory, the actor is automatically associated with the character he's playing and this is the case for the Rocky film series. Its author, its director and its main actor...who are all the same person...

The legendary Sylvester Stallone, a key figure of the 80s, is still mainly associated with his role as Rocky Balboa. In fact, you just have to close your eyes and you can hear...


The saga starring an Italian-American boxer from an underprivileged neighbourhood of Philadelphia has eight films launched between 1976 and 2018. First of all, there were the movies Rocky to Rocky 5, launched between 1976 and 1990, Rocky Balboa, in 2006, then, after that, it was the beginning of the Creed series which revolves around the son of Rocky's best friend, Apollo Creed. Obviously, not all the chapters of this landmark history of cinema have received the same reception from critics and fans, but the body of work represented by this saga will always remain a powerful motivator, an inspiring film, a hymn to determination and perseverance.

How else could it be, with an iconic song like Eye of the Tiger?

In order to celebrate: the success, the cinematographic and cultural heritage, the positive impact made in the lives of many people during difficult times, because it is impossible, after watching one of these films, not to take courage , to not want to defeat any adversary, whether it is: an opponent, an illness or even a precarious situation.

Beyond the values ​​carried by the film, Rocky evolves in the city of Philadelphia, in the United States. Due to the success of the saga and its legacy which is felt on so many levels, Rocky has inevitably become very associated with the city in Pennsylvania. In fact, it has become one of the prides of the city, just like: the Flyers, the Phillies and the Eagles. If you doubt it, why did several sports teams facing a team from Philadelphia take pleasure in attacking the statue erected in honor of Rocky? This work of art stands at the bottom of the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the same stairs that the character portrayed by Sylvester Stallone runs up before shouting the full extent of his rage to win. If you still doubt it, on the eve of the NFL playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles, the Niners committed the affront of dressing the iconic statue in their team colors. Why do that? Because they know there are few better ways to provoke the home team than to go after this powerful symbol of their city.

This kind of affront reminds me when, on the eve of the 2008 Super Bowl, in a television interview, quarterback Tom Brady openly mocked his next opponents, the New York Giants. The mockery of the star player of the Patriots had been heard several times by the New York formation, because this lack of respect served as their motivation. What had to happen happened: in the final game on February 3, the Patriots lost their only game of the year, after a perfect season. They lost to the New York Giants who Tom Brady had shamelessly mocked.

And the same thing could happen to the 49ers who dared to attack a symbol that is the pride of the city of Philadelphia, the mythical statue in honor of Rocky Balboa.

In short, to celebrate all the impact on so many levels that this series of films has had, Eric Sevigny has produced a painting of the iconic boxer. The latter is the result of a partnership between the artist and the sporting goods brand Fanatics. If you want to get it, you can find it on the website Hollywood Memorabilia.

- David Leboeuf

Canvas of Rocky Balboa made by the painter Eric Sevigny

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